Emmanuel Boss, professor of oceanography, received a $23,445 U.S. Department of the Interior (USGS) grant for the proposal, “Suspended sediments in the San Francisco Bay: Algorithm development and validation.” The objective is to map the nearshore magnitude and distribution of suspended sediments in the Suisun/Grizzly Bay region of the San Francisco Bay — as close to the shoreline of Rush Ranch as possible. In their approach, Boss’ research team will use several remote sensing platforms — airplanes and satellites — with fine-scale spatial resolution to alleviate land adjacency effects. Employing a suite of different fine-scale platforms will increase the possibility of successful overflight imagery collection, since fine-scale remote sensors do not have advantageous return times. This approach will demonstrate the utility of using remotely sensed suspended sediments for providing input into a model for regions where continuous monitoring of turbidity may not exist or where discrete suspended sediment values are not available.
Archive for the ‘At a Glance’ Category
K. Lira Yoon, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Maine, received a $14,989 grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for the second half of the first year of research on menstrual cycle modulation of the relation between cortisol and reward sensitivity in depression. Depression is more prevalent in women than men. Yoon’s project will provide a better understanding of major depressive disorder, focusing on the mechanisms that put women at a greater risk for the disorder.
Paula Burnett, RSVP director of the University of Maine Center on Aging, was awarded a $91,702 grant continuation — year three — from the Corporation for National and Community Service. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, RSVP is “engaging persons 55 and older in volunteer service to meet critical community needs and to provide high-quality experience that will enrich the lives of volunteers.” Through her work, Burnett will collaborate with 50 agencies and organizations, allowing up to 260 volunteers to work on meeting critical community needs. In FY13, 257 volunteers served approximately 27,849 hours through the work of RSVP.
Alan Majka, associate Extension professor at the University of Maine, received a $3,500 grant from the Healthy Acadia Coalition to fund “Dining with Diabetes Down East.” Majka will work in Washington County, providing diabetes self-management support through diet-related education at several sites. The program will address basic diabetes and diet concepts, and practical skill development regarding planning and preparing meals through hands-on cooking. In Washington County diabetes prevalence is at 10.4 percent. It is estimated that 3.1 percent of Maine adults are unaware that they have diabetes.
Alper Kiziltas, a doctoral student in the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources, was named by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) as the recipient of the 2013–2014 PerkinElmer Graduate Scholarship.
The PerkinElmer Instruments Co., in conjunction with the Composites Division of SPE, sponsors the annual $2,000 scholarship dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of information on the science, engineering fundamentals and applications of advanced polymer composite materials. This year, more than 40 applications were reviewed and judged by six members of the SPE Composites Division.
Kiziltas will accept the award in April during SPE’s annual technical conference — ANTEC 2014 — in Las Vegas. His research, as described in the winning abstract, will be presented at the conference.
Kiziltas conducts research at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center under the supervision of Douglas Gardner, professor of forest operations, bioproducts and bioenergy, and in collaboration with Hemant Pendse, department chair of chemical and biological engineering.
Kiziltas is currently working in composite material development and processing, including nanocomposites and reinforced engineering plastics for automotive applications. His particular interest lies in the development of sustainable composite materials sourced from recyclable materials such as bio-based resins, cellulose, discarded carpet fibers and natural fibers that serve as reinforcements for bio-based micro- and nanocomposites. His work is supported by UMaine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Alper’s research skills span over diverse fields such as nanomaterials, polymer processing, bio-based composites and sustainability. He is extremely innovative, unpretentious, collegial and cooperative,” says Gardner.
Kiziltas spent the 2013 summer and fall semesters working in plastics research at Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich. While at Ford, he studied ways to extend the use of soy in polyurethane flexible foams for seat cushions and seat backs as well as sustainable nylon composites for under-the-hood applications.
Kiziltas is the author of more than 10 publications in journals such as Applied Nanoscience and the Journal of Nanoparticle Research. He has presented results of his research in several national and international conferences and has won more than 15 awards including Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) Graduate Scholarship Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Dean’s Undergraduate Mentoring Award at UMaine’s 2013 Grad Expo, first place in the 2012–2013 SPE ACCE poster competition, and 2013 outstanding Ph.D. student in UMaine’s College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.
University of Maine researchers are studying the most efficient way to commercially thin regenerating clearcuts from the spruce budworm outbreak of the 1980s that are starting to reach profitable size throughout northern Maine. With no consensus among foresters and those in the logging industry about how best to thin stands, the researchers are investigating commercial thinning treatments that are silviculturally effective.
Jeffrey Benjamin, associate professor of forest operations, and Robert Seymour, the Curtis Hutchins Professor of Forest Resources, teamed with Emily Meacham, now with American Forest Management, and Jeremy Wilson, executive director of the Harris Center for Conservation Education, to compare thinning methods.
In the team’s recent study, they compared two whole-tree and two cut-to-length systems in terms of residual stem damage, retention of downed woody material, product utilization and production cost. While initial results were mixed in terms of residual stand damage, more than four times more biomass was produced from the whole-tree operations. The study also found commercially available equipment can conduct these treatments with skilled operators, but at a high production cost. The best system silviculturally was also the most expensive.
The researchers say efforts to develop cost-efficient harvesting machines to treat the stands should continue. No matter what technological advances are made, logging contractors carry the biggest responsibility for success because they need to balance residual stem damage and crop tree selection with production costs, according to the researchers.
Details of the study were published in the December 2013 issue of the Society of American Foresters’ Northern Journal of Applied Forestry.
The University of Maine Emera Maine Power Systems Laboratory to benefit undergraduate electrical engineering and electrical engineering technology education will be dedicated Feb. 10.
The lab, made possible by a $100,000 donation to the University of Maine Foundation from Emera Maine, is equipped to demonstrate concepts in electromechanical energy conversion and power systems. The facility will allow students to stay current with smart-grid technology.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson will be joined at the 1 p.m. ceremony in 27 Barrows Hall by alumnus Gerard Chasse, president and COO of Emera Maine, and Dana Humphrey, dean of the College of Engineering.
Also expected to be on hand to offer perspectives on the new lab will be UMaine alumnus Paul Villeneuve, associate professor of electrical engineering technology, and senior Jonathan Breard from Biddeford, Maine. Breard gained experience in the laboratory and in a summer 2013 internship with Bangor Hydro. He has accepted a position at ISO-NE in Holyoke, Mass., following his graduation this May.
Bangor-based Emera Maine is the state’s second-largest electric utility. The company delivers electricity to 154,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers across 9,350 square miles in five counties in eastern and northern Maine. Emera Maine is the result of the merger of Bangor Hydro Electric Company and Maine Public Service. Bangor Hydro became part of Emera Inc., in 2001 and Maine Public Service was acquired in 2010. The two companies formally merged as one utility Jan. 1, 2014.
Kepware Technologies, a software development company focused on communications for automation, announced it is donating $30,000 worth of software to the University of Maine’s Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) Program. Kepware will outfit each of the 12 computers in the programmable logic controller lab with licenses for its professional-grade suite. About 100 students in the EET program will use Kepware’s software for required classes, which the other 370 full-time students in the School of Engineering Technology can also take as electives. Kepware Technologies’ office is located in Portland, Maine. The full news release is available online.
University of Maine graduate students in the College of Education and Human Development teamed up with Tri-County Technical Center (TCTC) to develop and implement support for the pre-technical program.
TCTC offers 10 career and technical programs to high school students from six schools in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties. The pre-technical program serves students facing challenges in traditional educational settings, offering such fields as culinary arts, metal manufacturing and automotive technology.
In a study of TCTC’s pre-technical programming, UMaine Human Development graduate students enrolled in HUD 553: Program Planning and Evaluation identified understaffing and insufficient funding as the primary challenges to expanding the center’s sustainable agriculture efforts. In the UMaine course, taught by adjunct instructor and TCTC Student Services Coordinator Brian Welsh, the graduate students worked with TCTC staff and administration to develop a recruitment and selection process for field placements, resulting in two students interning with the pre-tech program, and helped secure $6,500 in funding through Lowe’s/Skills USA to build a greenhouse this spring to expand the sustainable energy program.
The Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) has launched the Research Fellows Program, a new Blue Sky initiative to support University of Maine faculty efforts in promoting undergraduate research opportunities. Emerging from 2011 stimulus funding of CUGR as one of six initiatives through the 2011 Presidential Request for Visions of University Excellence (PRE-VUE) Program, this CUGR Research Fellows Program is intended to improve undergraduate research and scholarship mentoring skills, expand curricula to include research and scholarship experiences, and develop proposals for further funding specifically involving undergraduate students.
Twenty-three faculty members who were nominated by their deans to be CUGR Research Fellows will participate in the two-year development program. Workshops will focus on topics such as mentoring undergraduate students, funding sources, responsible conduct of research and grant writing. Each CUGR Research Fellow receives a modest stipend and one undergraduate assistant.
The CUGR Research Fellows are:
Laura Artesani, Associate Professor of Music
Dan Bilodeau, Assistant Professor of Theatre
Tim Bowden, Assistant Professor of Aquaculture
Steven Elmer, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Nuri Emanetoglu, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nick Giudice, Associate Professor of Spatial Information Sciences
Rob Glover, CLAS-Honors Preceptor and Assistant Professor of Political Science
Will Gramlich, Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry
Hamish Greig, Associate Professor of Stream Ecology
Mark Haggerty, Associate Rezendes Preceptor for Civil Engagement
Sarah Harlan-Haughey, Assistant Professor of English and Assistant Professor of Honors
Kim Huisman, Associate Professor of Sociology
Karl Kreutz, Professor of Geological Sciences and Climate Change Institute
Jordan LaBouff, CLAS-Honors Preceptor and Assistant Professor of Psychology
Roberto Lopez-Anido, Professor of Civil Engineering
Benildo de los Reyes, Professor of Molecular Genetics
Shannon McCoy, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Reinhard Moratz, Associate Professor of Spatial Information Sciences
Balunkeswar Nayak, Assistant Professor of Food Processing
Brian Robinson, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change Institute
Mary Shea, Assistant Professor of Nursing
Ebru Ulusoy, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Faren Wolter, Lecturer
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745